Beginning to wind down...The saga continues...More favorite photos...


The Crocodile Bridge, one of many entrance points that leads to Kruger National Park.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
A tree bark gecko in our garden.
Optimistically, we'd made plans to go out to dinner with Uschi and Evan tonight thinking that surely by now, I'd be able to climb the one flight of steps at Jabula Lodge & Restaurant and be able to sit at a table for a few hours.

As it turned out, last night, as the pain continued I realized this wouldn't be possible. Twice, since Saturday, I've canceled reservations to go out to dinner when it became impossible in my current state.  
A massive bull elephant in Kruger.
Instead, today at 1630 hours (4:30 pm) Uschi and Evan will stop by for a visit.  I wish I was able to whip up some appetizers for their visit but doing so would require standing on my feet and I'm simply not ready to do so.  

Also, we'd gone shopping for a few vital items before we knew they were coming and since we're using up our current food supply, we don't have anything tasty on hand to offer guests without getting involved in a big cooking ordeal.
A large rhino in Kruger.
Disappointed once again, we let them know that going out to dinner wasn't possible at this point.  However, we wanted to see them one more time as we wind down our remaining 10 days in Marloth Park.

I've yet to start packing and will probably wait to do so until next week.  After living in this house for almost 15 months, the drawers and cupboards are packed with items we either need to consider for packing or donate.  

Vultures on the lookout for their next meal.
The kitchen cabinets are packed with spices, condiments, and various household products, none of which we'll be able to fit into our luggage.  The bedroom's dressers, wardrobe and surfaces are all filled and covered with our "stuff."  

Then, of course, is the bathroom which contains a myriad of toiletries, soaps, and shampoos.  During each stay in a holiday home, I make every attempt to avoid duplicating items we already have on hand.

A parade of elephants crossing a dirt road in Kruger.
But, you know how that goes.  While at the market or pharmacy it's easy to forget what we have on hand back at the house and suddenly we have three bottles of conditioner when we only need one.

In the past few days, I've managed to enter all of the receipts to our Excel spreadsheet and file and submit both health insurance claims to our difficult-to-deal-with health insurance company who's still hedging on paying the outstanding balance owed for the bypass surgery of over two months ago.

Cautiously, making their way across the road.
We are responsible for this balance should they fail to pay which is almost ZAR 300000, US $20,964.  If we pay it now, we'll play hell in trying to collect this from them, in the same manner they will be unlikely to reimburse us for the two claims in excess of ZAR 200000, US $13,976.  

At this point is conceivable we could end up having paid ZAR 500000, US $35,000 for my surgery which should have been covered less ZAR 86181, US $6,000 for three deductibles, one for each of three hospital admissions which includes the angiogram, bypass surgery and two leg surgeries.  Sorting this could drag on for some time.

Intimidation mouthful of razor-sharp teeth.
We've done all we can.  Now it's a waiting game while the insurance company decides if I had a pre-existing heart condition I didn't disclose which I did not. Ah, enough about that!

This morning we returned to Doc Theo for more debridement of the remaining open wound on my left leg.  We aren't done yet.  As it turns out, Doc Theo will be off for a 10 day holiday (much deserved...he works seven days a week) and has turned over my follow-up and further debridement to Doc Phillip.  
Crocs don't have sweat glands and open their mouths at rest to cool off.
They consulted today while examining the wound and both of us feel confident Doc Phillip will do a good job.  Doc Theo insisted I Whatsapp photos of the leg each time the dressings are removed and, much to our surprise, once we arrive in Ireland.

He's suggested I continue to have care by a wound clinic in Ireland but has said we can see how it goes over the next several appointments with Do Phillip over the next nine days.  It's improved substantially over the past nine or 10 days but still has a way to go.
Mom and baby wildebeest in Kruger.
I'm not thrilled about having to drive the over hour-long drive from Connemara to Galway every other day but I'm hoping for a miracle between now and our last visit to Doc Phillip on May 10th, the day before we fly away.

We said goodbye to Doc Theo albeit with considerable emotion on both sides.  This is the man who saved my life.  We hugged and kissed goodbye no less than three times as he and Tom warmly hugged and shook hands.  

He insisted we stay in touch even after I'm well, giving us his private number and email.  We became quite good friends with this fine man and outstanding physician.  Tom mentioned to him today that our finest instance of "safari luck" was him finding the problems with my heart which other doctors may easily have missed.

With fingers crossed for another snippet of "safari luck" and the healing of my leg in the next 10 days enabling us to begin treating it on our own rather than spending two days a week dealing with this ongoing issue.  We'll see how it goes.

In the interim, regardless of the pain, I need to do the walking although it's somewhat of an oxymoron...when I walk, the wound worsens; if I don't walk the wound worsens from lack of blood flow.  I guess I'll walk after all which ultimately aid in my overall recovery and strength building.

That's it for today dear friends.  We're expecting a lot from the next 10 days and we hope to get what we need.  If not?  Well, as always, we'll carry on.

Be well.
                           _____________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, May 1, 2018:

We encountered this flock of ostriches on a recent drive in Marloth Park.  For more photos, please click here.

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